U.S. Campaign Finance Case Against John Edwards Called Weak


Defense lawyers for John Edwards are asking a judge today to dismiss corruption charges, arguing prosecutors failed to prove the former U.S. presidential candidate intentionally violated the law, reports the Associated Press. Such motions rarely are successful, but after 14 days of evidence presented by prosecutors, legal observers said the government’s case was weak. “They have established their case enough to get to a jury, but it has holes in it,” said Kieran Shanahan, a Raleigh defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor. “He is not charged with being a liar and he is not charged with having a baby out of wedlock. He is charged with breaking campaign finance laws.”

Edwards is accused of masterminding a scheme to use nearly $1 million in secret payments from two wealthy donors to help hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. Prosecutors must show Edwards not only knew about the money used in the cover-up orchestrated by two members of his campaign, which he denies, but also that he knew he was violating the law. If U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles doesn’t grant the motion to dismiss, the defense will begin presenting its side Monday. A key question is whether Edwards will take the stand.

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